Friday, April 9, 2010

Racines Chocolate Flourless Cake

David Lebovitz is possibly my favorite person to follow on Twitter. Tweets from this Californian-turned-Parisian pastry chef are witty, irreverent, and unfailingly interesting. But there's more to David than his ability to generate entertaining 140-character soundbites. He's a fine baker of sweets, and a visit to his blog, or a dip into one of his books will lead you on a delectable adventure. (His ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop, which comes out in paperback in May, is a treasure trove of traditional and adventurous frozen concoctions).

Imagine my excitement when I heard that David was writing a new cookbook - essentially his "greatest hits" collection! The book is called Ready for Dessert; My Best Recipes - and I was sure it would be perfect. The book was released three days ago, and even before the UPS truck arrived in my driveway with my very own copy (it came just after lunchtime today), I baked one of the book's recipes. On Facebook yesterday (you too can become a David Lebovitz Facebook fan) David shared a link that brought me face-to-computer screen with a beautiful chocolate flourless cake. I printed the recipe, went to the kitchen, baked the cake and served it to my book group last evening.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- You can find the recipe where I did, here.

- I'm always thrilled to add a gluten-free recipe to my baking repertory.

- I made 3/4 recipe in an 8" springform pan.

- The chocolate I used was Callebaut Bittersweet.

- I added two pinches of salt, not enough to make the cake taste salty, but to give the flavor a little punch.

- The recipe calls for 1T of freshly brewed espresso, which sounds wonderful, but that's a lot of work for a tablespoon of coffee. Instead I used 1 tsp instant espresso dissolved in a bit of water.

- The optional cacao nibs on the top look great and add a wonderfully intense chocolate crunch to the cake.

- Watch this one when it's in the oven. I checked mine at 18 minutes and it was already done.

- I ran a knife around the pan when the cake was hot, then came back a few minutes later to find that the cake had shrunk. A lot. I think this was more an asthetic difference, but in the future I'd let the cake cool first, then run the knife and remove it from the pan.

- I served the cake with unsweetened whipped cream. David mentions orange flower water scented whipped cream, which sounds delicious, but I was in hurry to get the cake out the door, so didn't take the time to experiment with the flavored whipped cream - my tasters had to suffer with the standard stuff.

the verdict:

I'm very glad that I hurried to bake this cake - it was velvety smooth with a deep, dark chocolate flavor and a wonderful crunch from the nibs on top. One of my tasters said, "This is like chocolate mousse." Another taster suggested sweetened whipped cream, so next time I'll take the time to experiment with the flavored (or at least sweetened) whipped cream.

Make this cake for the chocolate-lovers in your life - or for yourself! And buy the book, too - now that I've had a chance to page through it I can say that you won't be sorry.


Helen Young said...

We loved this cake! Nancy was kind enough to let us take some home - so we each enjoyed another piece. This cake is decadent without being heavy. My new favorite "Nancy dessert."

TeaLady said...

looks delish. I love the texture of flourless cakes. used to make when doing low-carb. have to try them again. Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Did you watch the video on David's blog? It's so cute. I didn't know that The Perfect Scoop was coming out in paperback...I may need to buy that and Room for Dessert!

Ellie said...

This cake looks delicious! I love rich flourless chocolate cakes. Your came out looking so beautiful!

Kayte said...

A chocolate lover's dream, I am dead certain on this one. I even looked at the photo. I know DL is a big chocolate lover, are there non-chocolate recipes in that book, and if so, what would you say the percentage was between non and not-non? Just curious.

mike said...

Ok - now you have me wanting to stay home from work tomorrow and watch for "my" UPS guy or gal... keeping fingers crossed it arrives. How nice of you to share this decadent creation. This looks absolutely wonderful. True David - chocolate done right! This cookbook thing is getting out of control. I love it.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I am going to have to try this one--I love a good flourless chocolate cake. Love the sound of the flavored whip cream too. ;-)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

that looks so good! i ordered the book on friday, and can't wait to get it!

Erin said...

I bought this book too and I cake wait to make the cake :)

Unknown said...

Ever since I saw you tweet about the new book I've been meaning to check my library and see if they've got it on order! Must go do that now :) The cake looks fabulous - so decadent and rich. I know Shane would love it!

Jennie said...

Nancy, glad it wasn't just me on the baking time. I'm guessing something got lost in the conversion from baking in France to our US kitchens. Regardless, it's a lovely cake. Thank you for also including a link back.

natalia said...

Ciao nancy ! I'm baking the cake right now for a gluten free dinner thank you for the rich informations !